It’s been nearly four years since then-Costa Mesa mayor and current-councilmember Jim Righeimer was allegedly set up for a DUI by a private investigator hired by the Costa Mesa Police Association (CMPA). Righeimer and his ally, then-councilmember and current-mayor Steve Mensinger proceeded to sue the union the following year, alleging intimidation over an effort by the two to cut back on public-employees workers that dates back, what, six years at this point?
Lot of amber-encased stuff here going on, amiright? Anyhoo, there is finally some headway happening in Righeimer and Mensinger’s case, which also named as plaintiffs the CMPA’s former law firm and private investigator Chris Lanzillo. Yesterday, the California Fourth District Court of Appeals ruled the lawsuit could move forward, tossing out the defendants’ laughable position that their free-speech was being violated—no, seriously, the pendejos went for an anti-SLAPP strategy, one almost always used by newspapers and private citizens.
“This court ruling reaffirms the principle that police union thuggery, harassment and intimidation against public officials are not the kind of free speech and political participation which are protected by California law,” said John Manly, who took time off from going after pedo-priests and pedo-teachers to represent Righeimer and Mensinger, in a press release. “We look forward to taking this case to trial and receiving just compensation for our clients and their families.”
“This unlawful conduct represents the actions of only a few bad apples in the Police Department, not the majority of the fine law enforcement officers that protect and serve the people of Costa Mesa,” added Vince Finaldi, Manly’s partner in the firm Manly, Stewart & Finaldi. “Our clients have full confidence that the new Chief of Police and his administration will put a permanent end to this kind of misconduct.”
The Fourth’s move now kicks the lawsuit back to where it started—Orange County Superior Court. Go get ’em, John and Vince!